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Author Topic: Would they ever try to make queen cells from drone larvae?  (Read 561 times)
twb
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« on: May 20, 2009, 08:12:28 PM »

I got a dud queen in a package.  I added a frame of capped brood with a few eggs in the frame to boost the population while waiting for good queen to arrive.  When installing the good queen I found the dud had started laying and they had started queen cells from her larvae and from those in the frame I added.  Later I determined the dud's eggs were becoming drones.  That made me curious about the Q cells they started from her eggs and thus my question.
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 08:22:05 PM »

how long had your "dud" been in there?

chances are, they are making queen cells from whatever good eggs they could find.  they may have known that the queen you had was not great, or as often happens, they didn't like the queen from the package.  you probably didn't need to order a queen if they were making cells on the frame you gave them.  they would have superseded the old queen with the new.

as for making queen cells from drone larvae, i think they might try.  i had a hive that i was reasonably certain was queenless.  bad attitude, tons of drone cells, no worker brood.  they did make and tear out several queen cells.  one or two had larva, but no jelly and they never finished the cells.  to my surprise, they have made a queen from brood i gave them, but it took weeks and several frames of brood.

you found the old queen and killed her?
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twb
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 08:29:52 PM »

The dud is actually in a nuc right now while I determine for certain that she really is a drone layer.  The new queen was basically free from my supplier and is cranking eggs. "Dud" was in for two and a half weeks.  No problems here, just a question out of curiosity.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 12:52:48 AM »

I the hive has an unmated queen, that due to weather or other conditions, couldn't get out of the hive to mate for a week or two after hatching and thus became a drone layer or it contained an old worn out queen then, yes, the bees would attempt to rear a supercedure queen from drone eggs.  They will not attempt to do so from Laying worker eggs, however, they instead just remove the excess eggs and develop one bee per cell, unfortunately those turn out to be drones.
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